If you’re reading this post, you’re probably in the midst of planning your trip to Thailand. Or maybe you’re just looking for some inspiration for your next trip. Should Thailand be on your travel bucket list? Oh yes! Think white beaches, turquoise blue water, amazing food and friendly people. It’s an easy destination for first time travellers too and caters to all budgets. In this Thailand travel guide I want to give you some ideas for a two to three weeks itinerary.
You’ll be able to find really cheap flights to Thailand, especially if you can be flexible with your dates. Great fares are available for flying into Bangkok but often you can get a good deal to Phuket as well. Use Skyscanner for your search. Let’s assume you’re flying into Bangkok for this trip.
Bangkok (2 days)
Bangkok can really be a bit overwhelming and I wouldn’t particularly recommend staying there very long but it’s nice exploring and soaking in the vibes for a day. You can see quite a bit in a day, too.
- Take a boat from your hotel to Wat Pho (Buddhist temples) and the reclining Buddha
- Street food! You will find stalls around every corner and the food is usually always delicious plus super cheap. It’s part of an authentic experience, sitting down on tiny plastic chairs on the pavement and eating whatever the stalls have on offer.
- Markets. One of the most famous ones is Chatuchak Market but it’s only open on the weekends. MBK is a popular shopping area and you can find malls catering to different budgets and tastes.
- Khao San Road is fun to see and to have a bucket or two drink but it’s super touristy.
Ko Pha Ngan (3 days)
This beautiful island is probably most well-known for its Full Moon parties and it is exactly for that reason that it is very much underrated. It has got so much more to offer and if you explore the island, you will find a lot of beautiful places. Much better than the main party area Haad Rin Beach which is so touristy and dirty. We stayed in a bungalow 1 hour North West of Haad Rin Beach which was so serene. It’s best you rent a scooter because that gives you all the freedom in the world to explore some hidden gems. The island is rather small and you can easily tour around it in a day but you’ll probably want a few days to relax and soak in the atmosphere as well so I’d recommend three days here.
If you are keen on experiencing the Full Moon party (we did have fun, I admit it), then check the dates in advance and make sure you book your accommodation a few weeks before. There are pre-parties the day before, probably the most famous one is the pool party at Coral Bungalows. Then there is the Full Moon Party which is basically all over Haad Rin Beach with tons of stalls selling alcohol, body paint, and probably everything else in between. Be super careful as people are often drugged. We went with a big group of people and every single one of them has lost some of their possessions (flip flops, all their clothes except swimwear, cameras, phones, money,…). There is also the Full Moon afterparty the next night which if you somehow manage to drag yourself down to the beach again, was actually fun and much less crowded.
How to get there? From Bangkok, take an overnight bus to the ferry in Surat Thani. The ferry arrives close to Haad Rin Beach. We arrived super early in the morning and so we didn’t waste a day traveling around the country.
Ko Tao (4-8 days)
Ko Tao was probably my favourite island in Thailand. It’s tiny but the vibes are amazing. It’s famous for diving and a lot of people go here to get their PADI licence. If you do that, plan an extra week here as the course itself is normally five intensive days. But you will want to go exploring around the island too.
I also highly recommend the one-day snorkel tour which also takes you to the famous Nangyuan Island Beach.
Sairee Beach is the perfect place to stay in terms of accommodation and a bit of nightlife. There are also plenty of good food options and of course great massage places with a beach view. Oh, take me back there now!
How to get here? Take a ferry from Ko Pha Ngan.
Phi Phi Islands (3-5 days)
Most people probably go to Ko Phi Phi because they want to take the trip to Maya Bay. The famous Leo DiCaprio movie ‘The Beach’ was filmed there. That being said, this tour is super touristy and crowded. You may have a better time staying on the main island. I found that there was a bit less to do on Phi Phi than the other islands but it is nonetheless a beautiful place. Plus you can take a bunch of different boat tours if you get bored lying on the beach. They will take you some remote, mini islands – paradise!
To get here, you will need to take a ferry back to Surat Thani and then go by bus to either Phuket or Krabi and then the ferry from either place to Phi Phi. I really don’t recommend staying in Phuket or Krabi though, I did not enjoy those places at all.
Similan Islands (2-4 days)
If you still have time, you could go via Phuket to the Similan Islands and go on a few diving tours in the Andaman Sea which is said to be excellent for diving.
Have I got you planning your Thailand trip yet?
Some useful information for your trip preparations here.